Working Out While While Knocked Up, Part Two

Working Out While Knocked Up

Working Out While Knocked Up, Part Two

Back when I was pregnant with baby #2, I did a post about working out while pregnant. At that time, we were living with relatives, in one room. Our belongings were all still packed up, and money was far too tight for fancy things like gym memberships. However, I still wanted to get out and move while I was pregnant. It’s better for the baby, makes for an easier delivery, makes for a faster recovery, and of course, it’s good for me. Of course, my goal is not to lose weight or anything crazy when I’m pregnant. I just want to stay active, and set a good example for my kids.

Things have been much different this time around. We are back in our own place, which means that I have room to workout. It also means that I have been able to unpack my workout equipment. (Not that I have a ton of it). It has been a tremendous help. We still aren’t in a position to afford a gym membership and childcare, but I also don’t really see the need for it right now either. I have a lot of options without it. On a good day, I do a kettle bell workout. I purchased a few different weights of kettle bell“> from amazon (using prime to get free shipping) and I looked online for a workout that works for me. For right now, I love this one from Women’s Health Magazine. It’s quick, but it’s effective, and that’s exactly what I need with two kids running around. Generally, I get the workout done while the baby naps, and the 2-year-old watches, or sometimes, she will help me count reps, or even mimic the movements that I do.

The stars don’t always align for me to get in a quality workout like that though. Some days, the baby is really fussy or the two-year old just won’t sit still. On those days, the answer for me is to tie them down. Yes, literally. We live in an area with a ton of trails nearby, so on the rough days, I strap the girls in the stroller, and we get outside. The fresh air always improves their moods, and mine. Because I wanted to be able to take the stroller off the road and on trails, I purchased a BOB Revolution SE Duallie Stroller, Black“>Bob Revolution Dualie. I will be entirely honest with you here, I bought mine, used, from Craigslist. After having it, though, I get why people would pay the full price for it. The thing is amazing. It handles like a dream, and goes through everything. I will say though, that the size of it can be a bit overwhelming. It wouldn’t work well at the mall because of it’s size, and it’s heavy and awkward to move around when it’s closed. Otherwise, I love it though. On days when even a walk isn’t in the cards, we hit the park, crawl around on the floor, or turn up the radio and dance. The goal for me isn’t about weight loss. It’s about moving and setting the right example for my kids. wpid-img_20150310_165623049_hdr.jpg

On that note, I follow some awesome moms on instagram for extra motivation. BottlesandBarbells and StayFitMomBlog are two that I love for their realness. You can see their kids running around during their workouts and they are honest about trying to make it all work. I respect that. I also follow Maria Kang on facebook. She’s the woman behind the No Excuses Mom movement. I draw inspiration from people like me, with young kids, husbands, dinner to cook, and who still manage to get it all done. I can relate to that.

So, tell me, how do you make it all work in your life? What is your favorite workout? How to you find the time for everything, without the mom guilt?

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click the link and purchase something I recommend, I make a small commission. This helps pay for me to keep this blog up and running, and I appreciate that more than words can say. Thanks!

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Italian Sub Stuffed Peppers

Italian Sub Stuffed Peppers

Italian Sub Stuffed Peppers

Sometimes, I have an idea that, to me anyway, seems pretty brilliant. The other day, I had one of those ideas in the shower. I was thinking about what to eat later that day, going over what we had in the fridge and what sounded good. As I mentioned in my Paleo Lunch Ideas post, I usually love salads, but I just haven’t been in the mood for them lately. I have been eating some of the lunch meat “sandwhiches” that I mentioned, but since I’m preganant again (Oh did, I mention that? Baby # 3 is scheduled to to arrive early November), I can’t eat lunch meat unless I cook it. I have been craving Italian Subs like nobody’s business, though, so I used what I had in the fridge and came up with these bad-boys. (Note, the lunch meats I had aren’t the traditional Italian Sub meats, so feel free to swap them out if that floats yout boat).

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Italian Sub Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
2 slices pepperoni (the big sandwhich meat kind, not the pizza topping kind)
2 slices ham
2 slices salami
*Applegate farms is a pretty good brand to use for lunch meat, in terms of ingredients
4 slices provolone cheese
1 green bell pepper
Toppings: I used lettuce, tomato, pickles, olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar and some salt and pepper, but use what you like

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
Wash and slice your green pepper legnthwise, remove the stem and seeds
Place in an oven safe dish and set aside
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Slice your lunch meats into strips, cook in a cast iron pan on the stove until heated through. About 5 minutes
Place one slice of provolone in the bottom of each half of stuffed pepper, add the lunch meat, half in each side of the green pepper, packing it down if you need to, and top each half with another slice of cheese
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Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15-20 minutes
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*Note, this leaves the green peppers pretty crispy. If you want softer green peppers, simply boil them for a few minutes before stuffing them
Top with your toppings of choice and enjoy!
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For a paleo version, simply omit the cheese

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How Does Your Garden Grow

Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

Confession: I don’t have a green thumb. At all. In fact, you could say that I have a red thumb maybe, or a black thumb? Whatever color thumb results in dead plants. But, maybe I can turn it around. Once upon a time I couldn’t cook either, and now I manage to do a decent job of it. So, maybe this will be the year I keep some plants alive?
How does your garden grow
Hubby is out of town at the moment, so for mother’s day, my parents took the girls and I out for the day. One of our stops was a garden center, where they bought me a hanging basket, and some vegetable plants. For the vegtables, I chose roma tomatoes, cucumbers, and spaghetti squash. I figured that if I can grow those items, I could save us some serious money at the grocery store.
Garden Vegetables Start
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I planted them in a small planter for now, and I’m thinking that I can transplant them to larger containers if I don’t kill them. Hubby and I also picked up a hanging planter for herbs pretty recently at Sam’s Club. It came with all of the seeds, you just add some soil, hang it up, and water it.
Garden Herbs Start
So, I spent some time getting these things all planted and I’m hoping for the best. It has been just over a week since I planted it all, and I have to say, much to my suprise, I have not killed anything yet. The hanging basket, however, got caught up in some wind and smashed on the ground. I repotted it, added some fertiilizer, and so far, it’s hanging on. It’s clearly not as full as it was, but we’ll see what happens with it.
How Does your Garden Grow
The vegetables all seem to be growing. They all look a bit bigger than they were when they started, which is great news.
Garden Squash
Garden Tomatoes
Garden Cucumbers
The biggest accomplishment might be with the herb garden, though. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but some of these seeds have actually started spouting! Amazing, right??!!
Garden Herb Sprouts
Hopefully, in a few more weeks, I can update with more good news about my garden. Do any of you readers garden, and have any tips you can share with me? I’d love to hear some advice (or even some stories of when you weren’t so successful) in the comments. 😉 So, tell me, how does your garden grow?

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Paleo Lunch Ideas

Paleo Lunch Ideas

     As you may have noticed in my meal planning post, I don’t really meal plan for lunches. I generally just wing it, and eat leftovers, or something quick and easy. One of my go to ideas are salads. I actually love salads. I don’t find them boring like some people do, and with the number of ways you can change them up, I really enjoy eating them a lot.

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     I will admit that I hate lettuce. I think that regular iceburg lettuce tastes like nothing, and doesn’t add any real value to the meal, so I don’t use it. I usually use spinach or a blend of other letuce varieties. With that being said, I still don’t use much of it in my salads. I much prefer to load up with the good stuff : cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions. I also sometimes add a few nuts, a little cheese (this day I used feta) and I added a few dried cherries on this day as well. (Cherries are great for inflammation, so on days where my IC is acting a little wonky, I will try to work some into my meals. Normally, I include some protien in my salads, too. This day I just didn’t have anything easy on hand. On this day, I think I used a little olive oil over the top for a dressing, but normally, I keep a batch of Balsamic Vinaigrette from Primal Palate on hand.

     On other days, if I’m craving a sandwich type of meal, I will do some meat and cheese roll ups like these.

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  Or, my latest thing is to make more of an actual sandwich like this. Here, I used provolone as the “bread.”

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    Whatever I make, I try to include lots of fresh vegetables, whether in the actual meal, or on the side. Most of these work really well for the toddler as well. She likes most veggies, and she’s getting much better about eating protein these days. Most days, I will give her whatever I serve deconstructed though. (So, for a salad, the veggies all go in little piles on a plate, instead of all together in a bowl). For whatever reason, this makes her more likely to eat it.

How about you? What do you do for lunch in your house?

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How I meal plan each month

How I meal plan each month

So, let me be honest with you. I don’t love grocery shopping. If I am just running in for a few things, I don’t mind, but the whole, walking around for a really long time getting all kinds of things isn’t my favorite way to spend time. So, I try to minimize how often I have to do it. So, for me, and my family, meal planning for the month works. It is time consuming, and I’m sure that there is probably a more efficient way to do this, and some pretty printer ink wasting printables to help, but this is what I do.

First, I write the days of the week down the side of a sheet of paper. I write out four weeks, and this is more of a way for me to cover the whole month than it is an actual plan. For example, just because I might have spaghetti squash and meat sauce written in the slot for the third Tuesday of the month doesn’t mean that’s when we’ll actually eat it. We’ll actually eat when I feel like making it. 😉 Once I have the days written down, I start going through my pinterest, my bookmarks, and my cookbooks to figure out what recipes I want to make. Once I write down a recipe, since I have the link or the cookbook open anyway, I simply turn to a second sheet of paper and write down the ingredients I need for that recipe. If it’s the second (third, fourth….) time I am listing an ingredient, I’ll just make a tally mark next to it on my list. So, I end up with two lists. The first list, is just a list of what I plan to cook for the month, and it looks something like this:
How I meal plan for the month

The second list, is the actually shopping list, and it looks something like this:
How I meal plan for the month

Now, if I have a really long list, and some extra time, I might reorganize the shopping list into sections, (meat, produce, frozen, pantry) to make it easier in the grocery store, but that part is hit or miss for me. I also sometimes make a note, next to the recipe, to tell me where it came from (page number of what cookbook, for example). That just saves me some time trying to find a recipe when it comes time to do the actual cooking.

You might notice that I only write down something for dinner. I tend to eat similar things for breakfast and lunch, so I just tend to add them to the grocery list part, instead of the meal plan list. I also usually leave a space or two open for left overs or whatever. Also, I never buy all of the produce at once. I usually run out once a week (Or ever few days, sometimes) to get what I need. I would hate to have it go bad before I get to eat it all.

So, that is how I meal plan for the month. Do you meal plan? How does your system compare to mine? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

This recipe for Spaghetti Squash Lasagna is a spin on a recipe that I found on pinterest. (You can follow me here.)The original recipe is called Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and can be found at www.arismenu.com/lasagna-stuffed-spaghetti-squash/ The first time I made the recipe, I followed it as written (changing some of the meats, and swapping fat free dairy for the good stuff), and while it was delicious, it also felt a bit unbalanced to me. Part of the appeal of lasagna, to me anyway, is the layering of flavors, and when I made the recipe this way, there was a lot of flavor on top, followed by a lot of spaghetti squash. So, the next time I made it, I made a few changes to the recipe and this is what I got.

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Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash
1 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground sausage
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Cut spaghetti squash in half legnthwise and scrape out the stem and seeds
-Place spaghetti squash face down in an oven safe pan, filled with about 1/2 inch of water
-Bake for 40-60 minutes, until spaghetti squash is tender and pulls apart easily
-Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil, add the garlic and onion and saute until fragrant
-Add the ground sausage, ground beef, salt and pepper
-Once the meat has browned, add the crushed tomatoes, and 1 tsp each of basil and oregano
-When the sauce starts to bubble, reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes to allow it to thicken
-In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 tsp each of basil and oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper
-When the spaghetti squash has finished cooking, remove it from the oven. Scrape the squash from one half of the squash and layer it in the bottom of a 2.75 QT pyrex dish. Next layer 1/2 the meat mixture, followed by 1/2 the cheese mixture. Continue by layering the rest of the squash, followed by the rest of the meat mixture, and the rest of the cheese mixture. Top with the shredded motzarella chese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the motzarella begins to brown.
-Eat it up

The recipe was a bit more work this way, but to me, it was worth it. I really enjoyed the finished product more this way. Let me know what you think if you try it out!

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Follow me

Follow me! (And pay not attention to how creepy that actually sounds..)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I am working on getting myself out there on more social media sites. I’ve added a few new badges to my side bar, and have just joined Blog Lovin. I would love to get some followers over there. I also just created a new Instagram, http://www.instagram.com/adventuresofacavemom, and will hopefully be setting up a new pinterest site soon. (I’ll update when I do).

So, please join me if you are on these sites, and don’t forget to check me out on Facebook, (www.faceboom.com/adventuresofacavemom) too.

Also, please feel free to share my page with anyone that you think might be interested.

Update: You can now find me on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/advcavemom

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Pregnancy Weight Gain Issues

Pregnancy weight gain issues

Warning: This post is going to be a bit rant-y. I was on facebook recently and came across this article.Now, I get that this model posted pictures of herself on social media, so in some ways, she opened herself up a bit. However, at the end of the day, how much weight a woman gains or doesn’t gain during pregnancy isn’t actually any of our business. That’s between her and her doctor. Not you. Not me. Not a bunch of people sitting at home at their computers.

During my first pregnancy, I lost a lot of weight. I went into labor weighing 5lbs less than I weighed when I got pregnant. Did I try to lose weight? Absolutely not. I was horrendously sick. I had morning sickness, around the clock, until the end of my 7th month. I couldn’t keep any food or drinks down at all until my fifth month, and then it was a 50/50 chance as to whether what I ate would stay down or not. It was awful. My doctors were monitoring me closely,and at one point, I had to have an extra ultrasound to make sure that my baby was actually growing properly. I was terrified, every day, that my baby was in danger because of how sick I was. All anyone could comment on, however, was my weight loss. They meant well, it was usually a compliment, but it only added to my stress. Pregnancy is a stressful thing to start with, and to have everybody commenting and judging is terrible. Everywhere I went, people somehow felt like they had a right to comment on my body.

Now, I understand that this is a different situation from the model who is working out during her entire pregnancy, and trying to keep her weight gain low. There are incredible benefits to working out while pregnant. However, none of that is my business. Just like it’s not my business how much weight Kim Kardashian or Jessica Simpson gained or didn’t gain. That’s between them and their doctors, and I can promise you that their doctors are keeping an eye on it. My doctor certainly did. So, can we, as women just stop bashing each other over how our bodies change when we make babies? Growing a human being, bringing another life into this world is not an easy job. Let’s just celebrate the miracle of that, and leave the scale comments out of it. Let their doctors worry about it. It’s time that women stop bashing one another and start having each other’s backs. Why not start now?

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Paleo Taco Stuffed Peppers

Paleo Taco Stuffed Peppers
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This came about on one of those nights were I had no idea what make for dinner. I had some ground beef defrosted, but burgers didn’t sound good to me. So, I looked around at what I had, created these paleo taco stuffed peppers, and they turned out quite tasty.

Taco Stuffed Peppers:
Ingredients:
Cauliflower Rice“>Cauliflower Rice
1 lb ground beef
Taco Seasoning (I used 3 TBSP of this recipe
4 Large Bell Peppers
1 Tomato, diced
Cheese (optional)

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
Brown the beef in a skillet, adding the taco seasoning as you cook (add more or less, depending on your preferences), drain, and set aside
Prepare the cauliflower rice, set aside
Cut the tops off the green peppers, and remove the steams and seeds, place them upright in a baking dish
Fill each pepper with about an inch of the cauliflower rice,
Add ground beef on top of the cauliflower rice, pressing it down with a spoon
Top with shredded cheese, if desired
Bake for 25-30 minutes
Top with diced tomato
You could also top with sour cream if you eat dairy, gacamole if you’d like, or whatever toppings you would normally put on a taco,

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Note: You could boil the green peppers to soften them prior to cooking, if you like. We just prefer our peppers to be a bit crunchier.
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Recipe Testing for Paleo Takeout

Recipe Testing for Paleo Takeout
A few weeks ago, I can across a facebook thread, from The Domestic Man. He is publishing a new cookbook, and was looking for volunteers to test a recipe from the cookbook, and the then give him some feedback on it. Of course, I jumped at the chance to participate. Once accepted into the group, I was given a list of all of the recipes that are going to be in this new book, Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Guilt
“>Paleo Takeout. I then had the impossible task of picking just one to test. Now, let me tell you, the recipes that are included in this book are awesome! There are so many that I wanted to try. I settled on testing calzones, though, because I knew that it was going to be quite likely that I would have all of the ingredients at home already. I did have most of them on hand, but there were a few I needed to pick up at the store. I found them at a regular grocery store, though, so that was easy enough.

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Let me say that I have never made calzones before, so the idea was a bit intimidating, but the instructions were really straightforward and easy to follow. I made the marinara sauce recipe that was included as well, because if you are going to test a recipe, you should really test it. The sauce was time consuming, as it took two hours to fully cook, and working on a gas stove, I found that I needed to add water a few times, and keep a close watch on it to keep it from burning. I am, however, glad I did because it was delicious.

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Now, in terms of the calzones, the recipe calls for them to be cooked on baking sheets. I only have one, so I used one baking sheet, and one pizza stone. The one that was pre cooked on the pizza stone cracked a bit when I stuffed it and folded it. The other one, folded flawlessly.

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I also had a bit of trouble getting them to “seal” around the edge, but they stayed together anyway, so that wasn’t really a big deal in the end. All in all, I would have to say that these were a winner in our house. Even the two year old approved, which is no small feat. I will definitely be making these again in the future. For the test, we filled them with cheese (although he offers a dairy free solution), pepperoni and green peppers. I already have lots of ideas for other fillings, but I’d love to hear you favorite calzone fillings in the comments.

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Please note, this post contains an affiliate link. If you follow the link and purchase the item I recommend, I make a small commission. That money just helps me keep this blog running. Thanks.

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